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Gee and students watch Potter

Many Ohio State students celebrated OSU’s narrow victory over Iowa on Saturday night, but some students joined OSU President E. Gordon Gee, the school’s own headmaster, for a special showing of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.”   

“Hello, Muggles!” Gee said, greeting students.

After brief introductions from Gee and Ashley Sinram, a fourth-year who works for the Ohio Union, Gee joined 140 OSU students, including members of OSU’s Quidditch League, along with some OSU employees, for a free showing of the new movie.

The movie covers the first half of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the final installment of J.K. Rowling’s popular book series. Part two is scheduled to be released in July 2011. The film was a runaway for the weekend’s highest earning title, selling more than $125 million in ticket sales through Saturday.

James Greenebaum, a fourth-year in evolution and ecology who attended the event, said he was excited the movie was split into two volumes. He has read the entire book series, but this was his first time seeing a film version.

Gee agreed with Greenebaum and said finding out how the book was split in the film versions was the most exciting part of the movie for him.  

“I want to see how they’re going to work it ‘cause it’s divided into two parts, so I wanna see how they’re gonna leave us in suspense,” he said to the audience before the film started.

After seeing the result, he was pleased with the split.

“It ended in exactly the right place,” Gee said. “It was very true to the book, and I can’t wait to see the next one.”

Many students agreed with Gee’s opinion of the film and appreciated how accurate the movie was in portraying the book’s story line.

“This movie is the first one I have actually respected,” said Adam Wagner, a second-year in political science. “This movie was the first one that I thought gave the book the consideration it deserves.”  

Hannah Bonacci, a first-year in social work, said she thought the movie was the best in the series.

“That’s probably my favorite so far,” she said. “I think they did the best job on this one.”

Students were invited to the showing, sponsored by the Ohio Union and Gee’s office, and were asked to dress up like characters from the movie.

Gee sported a Harry Potter-style scarlet and gray scarf and his traditional bow tie, while students came dressed as many different characters, including Harry Potter and Dumbledore.

Attendees were treated to complimentary theater snacks along with themed treats such as Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans jelly beans, made popular by the Harry Potter books.

Students also received free giveaways, such as pins that had the crests of the different Hogwarts houses or that simply said “Muggle.”  

Attendees seemed excited about the opportunity to see the movie with Gee. Many posed for pictures with Gee or under the sign outside the theater that read, “Dr. Gee 8:15.”

“You guys look fabulous,” Gee said to a group of students who posed for a picture with him.

Bonacci said the movie was great, but the interaction with Gee made the experience better.

“I mean, I was obviously here with friends, but I think the idea of the event made it more exciting,” Bonacci said. “I think it was cool that he took the time out to come do this with us.”


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